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October 31, 2008

The Economist Endorses Obama

The Economist is usually considered somewhat conservative and very business oriented so this is big news.   Here's what they say:

The Economist does not have a vote, but if it did, it would cast it for Mr Obama. We do so wholeheartedly: the Democratic candidate has clearly shown that he offers the better chance of restoring America’s self-confidence. But we acknowledge it is a gamble. Given Mr Obama’s inexperience, the lack of clarity about some of his beliefs and the prospect of a stridently Democratic Congress, voting for him is a risk. Yet it is one America should take, given the steep road ahead.

The Economist has liked McCain a lot but consider him the riskier choice this year.  Guess why?

The choice of Sarah Palin epitomised the sloppiness. It is not just that she is an unconvincing stand-in, nor even that she seems to have been chosen partly for her views on divisive social issues, notably abortion. Mr McCain made his most important appointment having met her just twice.

Posted by Lynn Allen on October 31, 2008 at 10:25 AM in Candidate Races, Media, National and International Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

More on Fearing's Race in the 4th CD

Jimmy McCabe has a post up on Fearing's race as well at his eastern Washington blog, McCranium.  The poll I mentioned earlier has Doc Hastings at 52.5% and George at 47.5%.  That could easily shift in these last few days as people realize that George has a chance to take Hastings out.

Jim notes two other items in the poll that are even more promising:

Voters in Washington’s 4th Congressional District are clearly unhappy with the direction of the country (79% wrong track).  This is a surprisingly strong number in an area that conventional wisdom has marked as “conservative”.

On the question of “Are you happy with the performance of your Congressman”, 65% of voters said ‘No’.

Unlike the corrupt desperation of the Republicans running against Darcy Burner and Chris Gregoire, George has been so much under the radar that Hastings has been complacent.  According to Jim:

But the attacks show a weakness in the Hastings campaign: over confidence.  The Fearing campaign marginally out raised Hastings the first two weeks of October and is scrambling to buy media, while the Hastings campaign may have under bought and underestimated the political environment.  Equally, some newspapers in the district may have done the same often citing previous elections as a precursor for 2008.  The new poll suggests all is not what it seems.

Posted by Lynn Allen on October 31, 2008 at 10:18 AM in Candidate Races | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Can They Get Away With This?

Sometimes I think we have had our senses severely dulled in the last many years of corportatist, war-mongering, science-denying, pandering Republicanism.  We barely blinked as Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay and Ted Stevens and company robbed the treasury for personal gain, stepping on worker's rights and Indian tribes in the process .  We watched as School Boards spent millions dealing with the question of whether to teach creationism along with the theory of evolution; and as the White House blocked the publication of scientific findings on climate change.  We watched as they started a deadly and costly war under the flimsiest of excuses.

So, we don't get sufficiently outraged when "lesser" levels of corruption show up on our doorstep.

Now Josh Feit at HA Seattle writes again about the huge amounts of money that Media Plus, a local media firm, is securing for the campaigns of Dave Reichert, Dino Rossi, Rob McKenna, and Doug Sutherland.  For Reichert alone, the candidate they've really gone out on a limb for, they loaned his campaign $1.7 million for ad buys.   That's the total that they guaranteed to local TV stations for Reichert.  This is considered an illegal loan for which they will likely get reprimanded and fined for after the election.  They will get slapped on the wrist with a fine; just the cost of doing business if you are a Republican in a town where the two largest papers don't bother to complain. 

In addition, Dino Rossi's Buildergate scandal is still being investigated.  The three officers of the Master Builders Association will be deposed today and Monday.  That will likely make it clear that Rossi did indeed illegally coordinate with the BIAW to raise money for his campaign, using the fig leaf that he had not yet announced his campaign - but, if the two big papers continue to downplay it, it is not likely to have a lot of impact on the campaign. 

This is wrong. 

Posted by Lynn Allen on October 31, 2008 at 08:02 AM in Candidate Races, The Politics of Business | Permalink | Comments (3)

October 30, 2008

The Essential Darcy

At bottom, Darcy is a highly logical, technically savvy, networks and grassroots believing sweetie.   Here is a post she wrote over at OpenLeft which just reflects why she is running and what she wants.  It's very sweet.

We're in the very last stretch of a marathon. The finish line is just there, in front of us - we're almost there.


The big story this election, the one that will have profound implications for the future of our country, is one of participation.

Barack Obama and his team have run a revolutionary Presidential campaign, with unparalleled numbers of donors and volunteers stepping up to help. It's inspiring to watch. But it's not just at the Presidential level: participation in races like mine and Sam Bennett's and Rick Noriega's and Scott Kleeb's and Eric Massa's and Gary Trauner's has been unbelievable.

That participation fills the promise this country was founded on: government of, by, and for the people. We need no rulers other than ourselves.

So to all of you who have donated to my campaign or somebody else's, who have volunteered, who have read about and written about and talked about the choices we face, who have fought for a better country, I say this:

Thank you.

I'm honored to be working shoulder-to-shoulder with such as you, getting our country back on track. We're almost there.

Yes we can.

And yes we will.

Nice piece.

Posted by Lynn Allen on October 30, 2008 at 10:37 PM in Candidate Races, Media | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 29, 2008

George Fearing - New Ads

We are hearing that George Fearing's campaign in Washington's 4th CD (central Washington) has some internal polling which puts them within the error of margin in his race against one of the worst Congresscritters anywhere, Doc Hastings.  

I'm sure you all are pretty close to tapped out, as am I.  Also, of course, the other two big campaigns - for Chris Gregoire and Darcy Burner are still close and very important.  But as much as George and his  small staff have worked, and as much as they have reached into previously untapped areas of that district, the race has not stirred up much interest outside their district.

But a small amount of money can go a very long way in eastern Washington and can still be quite effective.   Donate now if you can.

Here are two radio ads that cost about an average of $10 per airing.  Take a listen.  The first one stars George's young 12-year old son, also named George.  It is great.  And the second is pretty good as well.

I'm throwing in a couple of new Internet ads as well.  This campaign has had some great ads and has done them all themselves. 

Wall Street

The Economy

Posted by Lynn Allen on October 29, 2008 at 09:21 PM in Candidate Races, Media | Permalink | Comments (3)

The Kids Have Spoken

The highly predictive Weekly Reader Presidential Election Poll of students from kindergarten through 12th grade has Obama at 54.7% and McCain at 42.9% with "other" getting 2.5%.  Over 125,000 students from all over the country cast their votes in their classrooms and gave the Democrat 33 states and the District of Columbia for 420 electoral votes and gave McCain 17 states and 118 electoral votes.

While the election results may appear one-sided, they actually were extraordinarily close in many places. In three states, less than a tenth of a percentage point separated the winning ticket from the losing one.  Iowa and Missouri were the states where Obama barely squeaked by, while in North Dakota, McCain won by the same slim margin.

This is the 14th Weekly Reader poll.  It has predicted the winner in 12 of the past 13 elections, failing only in 1992 when the students chose the first George Bush over Bill Clinton by a small margin. 

Weekly Reader prepares students with a range of election materials available on their website and will continue to provide materials through the inauguration and the new president's first 100 days in office.

Posted by Lynn Allen on October 29, 2008 at 06:32 AM in Candidate Races, Current Affairs, Media | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 27, 2008

Boeing Strike Looks to be Over

The AP is reporting that the Boeing machinists' strike may be over.  Here's the nub of it:

The main stumbling block had been job security and other top issues included wages, retirement benefits and medical coverage.

According to a statement issued by the union, the settlement "will provide job security for its members and limit the amount of work outside vendors can perform in the workplace."

We'll know more when the details are out but this looks like what the workers were looking for - a reasonable way to limit the work done by outside vendors.  Hm.  Have to wonder if the workers is less able to control the work that goes outside to outside vendors. 

The IAM represents about 25,000 workers in the Seattle area as well as a smattering of workers in Gresham, Oregon and Wichita, Kansas.

Posted by Lynn Allen on October 27, 2008 at 08:51 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Week Out

Here's Obama's closing argument in this campaign.  It's the last few minutes of a talk he gave today in Canton, Ohio.  The transcript is written out in full below and here is a link to the YouTube

Then Wednesday we get to hear Obama for half an hour - presumably lay out his closing arguments in some more detail, maybe mix it up with some video and entertainment of some kind.  That is going to be a fascinating and historical half hour.   I've heard CBS, NBC, Fox and MSNBC are all in.  8:00-8:30.

It's nice to have a few days when we can relish the Republican's bleak landscape, watch Uncle Ted play the Mark Foley/Tom Delay role and destroy what little Republican leanings might still be popping up.  It's delicious. 

We also get to watch the Republican Party split apart at the seams.  The fissures under the McCain/Palin split are going to tear the modern Republican party apart.  As an added bonus, we are likely to get to see what a world looks like with Sarah Palin in charge.  If she comes out of this election as the leader of a new, fundamentalist (I mean really, the woman does not believe in evolution) wing of the Republican party, we will likely see her on-going tactics writ large.  I suspect we will offer up a collective prayer of gratitude that we did not elect her to be V.P. 

Once we win, we begin talking about what we need to do to turn this country around.  Obama is already gearing us up for that, as he works to talk about what is going on so that we can consider hanging in there with him to fix this mess.  

Transcript of Obama's Speech

    In this election, we cannot afford the same political games and tactics that are being used to pit us against one another and make us afraid of one another.  The stakes are too high to divide us by class and region and background; by who we are or what we believe. 

    Because despite what our opponents may claim, there are no real or fake parts of this country.  There is no city or town that is more pro-America than anywhere else - we are one nation, all of us proud, all of us patriots.  There are patriots who supported this war in Iraq and patriots who opposed it; patriots who believe in Democratic policies and those who believe in Republican policies.  The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag.  They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America.

    It won't be easy, Ohio.  It won't be quick.  But you and I know that it is time to come together and change this country.  Some of you may be cynical and fed up with politics.  A lot of you may be disappointed and even angry with your leaders.  You have every right to be.  But despite all of this, I ask of you what has been asked of Americans throughout our history. 

    I ask you to believe - not just in my ability to bring about change, but in yours.

    I know this change is possible.  Because I have seen it over the last twenty-one months.  Because in this campaign, I have had the privilege to witness what is best in America. 

    I've seen it in lines of voters that stretched around schools and churches; in the young people who cast their ballot for the first time, and those not so young folks who got involved again after a very long time.  I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see their friends lose their jobs; in the neighbors who take a stranger in when the floodwaters rise; in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb.  I've seen it in the faces of the men and women I've met at countless rallies and town halls across the country, men and women who speak of their struggles but also of their hopes and dreams.

    I still remember the email that a woman named Robyn sent me after I met her in Ft. Lauderdale.  Sometime after our event, her son nearly went into cardiac arrest, and was diagnosed with a heart condition that could only be treated with a procedure that cost tens of thousands of dollars.  Her insurance company refused to pay, and their family just didn't have that kind of money. 

    In her email, Robyn wrote, "I ask only this of you - on the days where you feel so tired you can't think of uttering another word to the people, think of us.  When those who oppose you have you down, reach deep and fight back harder."

    Ohio, that's what hope is - that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better is waiting around the bend; that insists there are better days ahead.  If we're willing to work for it.  If we're willing to shed our fears and our doubts.  If we're willing to reach deep down inside ourselves when we're tired and come back fighting harder.

    Hope!  That's what kept some of our parents and grandparents going when times were tough.  What led them to say, "Maybe I can't go to college, but if I save a little bit each week my child can; maybe I can't have my own business but if I work really hard my child can open one of her own."  It's what led immigrants from distant lands to come to these shores against great odds and carve a new life for their families in America; what led those who couldn't vote to march and organize and stand for freedom; that led them to cry out, "It may look dark tonight, but if I hold on to hope, tomorrow will be brighter."

    That's what this election is about.  That is the choice we face right now.

    Don't believe for a second this election is over.  Don't think for a minute that power concedes.  We have to work like our future depends on it in this last week, because it does.     

    In one week, we can choose an economy that rewards work and creates new jobs and fuels prosperity from the bottom-up. 

    In one week, we can choose to invest in health care for our families, and education for our kids, and renewable energy for our future. 

    In one week, we can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of change over the power of the status quo. 

    In one week, we can come together as one nation, and one people, and once more choose our better history. 

    That's what's at stake.  That's what we're fighting for.  And if in this last week, you will knock on some doors for me, and make some calls for me, and talk to your neighbors, and convince your friends; if you will stand with me, and fight with me, and give me your vote, then I promise you this - we will not just win Ohio, we will not just win this election, but together, we will change this country and we will change the world.  Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless America.

Posted by Lynn Allen on October 27, 2008 at 08:29 PM in Candidate Races, Media, National and International Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 25, 2008

The Scent of Success and the Whiff of Desperation

Do keep working, of course.  The desperate measures that the Republican campaigns are taking may well work downticket if we let go now.  And this would be a good time to crush the modern-day Republicans.  They deserve to be driven out of office for a generation.

But the smell of change is sweet.  It is coming into our consciousness, like the smell of the ocean that reaches us half a mile before the trail hits the beach.  It's exhilarating. 

However, the smell of desperation wafting from the Republican campaigns is far more powerful right now.  The McCain/Palin campaign is throwing everything they can at Obama - lying about Obama raising taxes, attacking ACORN with blatantly ridiculous charges, riling up a nasty brew of something approaching a racist nationalism, calling Obama a socialist (!?!) and more.  It's like they are pulling out every filthy old rag from under the stairway closet - to no evident good.

Of course they are throwing it at each other as well, looking to assess blame for the loss even before it occurs.  The Washington Post had a piece up yesterday entitled, "McCain Campaign Post-Mortem".  Without reading a word, that's "a headline that could sink a thousand ships" as John Aravosis says over at AmericaBlog. 

However, in Washington State, with less media oversight and a long-ago history of having decent Republicans, we are unnervingly close.  As a result, we've been getting more than our share of desperation-driven crap here in Washington.   We get ads with bogus questions about whether Darcy has economics degree or an economics specialty from Harvard.  We get huge amounts of money being put into ads that represent illegal coordination between Rossi and the BIAW.  We get the Media Group fronting money for Reichert's TV ads, most likely illegally.   The Republicans are fighting dirty to try to pull out a win or two in this likely blue tsunami year.   

Matt Stoller of OpenLeft has been writing about Darcy's race in his several trips to assess how her campaign is going.  He reminds us that Darcy pissed off the Blethens with her leadership in the "Committee for a Two Newspaper Town" last year.  That campaign cost Blethen's Seattle Times a fair amount of money and they haven't forgotten or forgiven.  Markos has a slightly different take.  He believes that the local media angry that their "right" to choose the candidates. 

You know what to do.  We need to let the Republicans know that it will not work.  We have to make sure they realize they cannot rely on distractions and illegal contributions to win their seats.

Posted by Lynn Allen on October 25, 2008 at 11:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 24, 2008

Cathy Allen -- Republican Consultant?

I'm not solely fixated on whether someone has a (D) or an (R) next to their name on the ballot, but c'mon, I've pretty much always voted for the (D) ever since I was eligible to vote in 1978. I think my only digression was when I pulled the proverbial lever for the late, former King County prosecutor Norm Maleng, but he was so middle-of the road non-partisan by nature that I don't think that really qualifies as "going to the other side".

I do, however, value integrity and credibility. I don't think one should be marketing oneself as Democratic-consultant-extraordinaire when, in actuality, one is drawing a sizeable paycheck for helping to elect Republicans. So I was quite intrigued by what I read in this piece by The Stranger's Erica C. Barnett on pro-woman/pro-Democratic consultant Cathy Allen:

Many of Allen's clients and admirers will be shocked to learn that she's also working for two of the least progressive Republicans in state politics: lands commissioner Doug Sutherland—whose defeat Allen client WCV has named as its top priority—and attorney general Rob McKenna. McKenna is known to be an opponent of abortion rights (and an aspirant for higher office). In 2005, Sutherland had to apologize to a young female employee for sexual remarks he made about her; the woman quit the job shortly afterward.

Yikes. This really irritates me, especially because McKenna clearly (and rightly) views a second stint in the AG position as a stepping stone to the governor's mansion, and Sutherland... ay carumba, the guy is a sleaze-bag who faces a highly qualified opponent in Peter Goldmark (D).

(The "WCV" reference is Washington Conservation Voters.)

It continues:

Allen did her work for Sutherland and McKenna through a PAC controlled by the Washington Association of Realtors that donates primarily to Republicans. In mid-October, the PAC cut two checks to Allen for her work on the two Republicans' behalf—a payday of $57,560.

Incidentally, ECB points out that candidate Reuven Carlyle (D), who's vying for the 36th legislative district seat, has also received help from the Realtor's PAC in the form of a $15,000 expenditure.

Allen's compadres in the (D) consulting world sound less than enthused about her current activities, but none really wanted to go public with their opinions. Even uber-consultant Blair Butterworth would only say, "We all choose who we sleep with, right?" An anonymous insider was more forthcoming and less polite.

Cathy Allen is an unrelentingly energetic voice for the candidates and causes that she champions. If you've ever seen her work her wiles as a fundraiser from close up, you know what I'm talking about. But this news about her double-agent activities sours me. The shop-worn phrase "Follow the Money" is as apropos as ever.

Posted by shoephone on October 24, 2008 at 12:46 AM in Candidate Races, Inside Baseball | Permalink | Comments (2)